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The proposed P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017 pushed by the administration of President Duterte heavily invests on the attainment of peace and order in the country, according to Davao Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.
During the start of the House plenary deliberations on the spending bill yesterday, the Davao solon noted that under the 2017 budget, P206.6 billion will be allocated for public order and safety, which is 19.3 percent higher than the 2016 level of P173.3 billion.
“But what good is progress if we do not have peace? We know that we cannot attain real prosperity if peace continues to be elusive in our communities, or if our country is threatened by internal and external threats,” Nograles said during his sponsorship speech.
He said a big chunk of the P206.6 billion earmarked for public order and safety will go to the Philippine National Police (PNP), which targets to reduce the crime rate by 5 percent next year.
“The PNP will be the government’s key player in our fight against illegal drugs and criminality,” he said.
Nograles said the defense will receive P147.8 billion, 13 percent more than the 2016 budget “to protect our people from terrorism and external threats.”
Nograles maintained that under the 2017 GAB, P39.6 billion will be allocated for the increase in the base pay and allowance of military and uniformed personnel.
“Our policemen and soldiers risk their lives to ensure peace and order in the country, and they deserve to be compensated for their valuable contribution,” he said.
But, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez and BUHAY partylist Rep. Lito Atienza criticized Duterte administration’s preoccupation with its fight against illegal drugs and crimes, saying that other major national concerns, including the worsening traffic situation have been overlooked.
Nograles immediately rushed in defense of the President, saying that “although, the President is focused on his crusade against illegal drugs and crimes, he is on top of all programs.”
“He knows how to delegate the world. He knows that he can’t do it alone. Though he is focused on drugs and crimes, he does not mean that he is not hands on other programs,” he said.